Most Bibles label the book we simply call Acts as The Acts of the Apostles. But it doesn’t take too long before we realize it really isn’t about the apostles. They are present, but not central. Even in the sections that highlight Peter and Paul, the most mentioned of the apostles, it still is not really about them.
Consistently, the work of the apostles is attributed to the Holy Spirit and points to Christ. The Holy Spirit empowers, emboldens, moves, speaks, calls, informs and many other actions.In fact, the Holy Spirit is mentioned 54 times in Acts, more than in any other book of the New Testament.
He appears in chapter 1, verse 2. He is present in story after story after story. Yet He never seems to call attention to Himself. He is always pointing to Jesus, the story of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the power of Jesus. One theologian, in light of how the Holy Spirit seems to always direct attention away from Himself, calls Him, “The shy member of the Trinity.”
It seems the early church struggled over such issues as the deity of Jesus and the deity of the Holy Spirit. In light of that, there was a council called in Nicaea in 325 C.E., which affirmed the deity of both. However, a fuller statement was made in the Council of Constantinople in 381 C.E. At that council, further clarification was given. The end result was the following statement:
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
Such a Trinitarian approach is found in Revelation 1:4-5.
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come (Eternal Father), and from the seven spirits who are before His throne (Holy Spirit), 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. (clarifications added)